French Open: Eugenie Bouchard passes first-round test
Clive Brunskill

Eugenie Bouchard is through to the second round of the French Open after a tough straight-sets win vs Anna Kalinskaya.

The first match

After making the final in Istanbul Bouchard had originally requested a wild card to qualification draw but the tournament decided to reward her with a wild card to the main draw. Funny enough she faced a Russian in Anna Kalinskaya.

She started out the match with a very aggressive style of play using the forehand to set up her volley winners. She had no issues winning the first game of the match winning a love service game. It didn't take long for the Canadian to earn her first break point when Kalinskaya sent a forehand long to make it 30-40.

The Moscow native managed to save it this time landing one of her forehands on the line with a great winner and she would manage to hold her opening service game. The Westmount, Quebec native was doing well with her forehand and everything was on serve until we reached 2-2 in the first set.

Clive Brunskill
Clive Brunskill

The 21-year-old would manage to get her first break point of the match and she would convert as the 26-year-old would hit the ball into the net and it was the Russian who would get the first break of the match to lead 3-2. The 100th ranked player in the world had a 40-0 lead on her serve but the 168th ranked player would manage to win five straight points playing some great tennis and would get the break back to go back on serve 3-3.

We saw a bit of deja vu on the next service game but this time it was Kalinskaya who would have three more breakpoints on Bouchard serve and she would break back as the Canadian would hit an unforced error to take a 4-3 lead.

The same thing repeated again and we were starting to wonder if either player would be able to hold serve. The Bahamas resident would earn three more breakpoints with a beautiful return winner to go up 0-40. She would be able to convert and was finally able to hold serve in the next game hitting some great shots and having some nice rallies with her opponent. 

Clive Brunskill
Clive Brunskill

At 5-4 the Russian served to stay in the set but the Canadian was keen on ending the first set and did so winning 12 of 13 points and pushing Kalinskaya out wide on set point to take it 6-4.

The second started with both players going at with their forehands but at this juncture of the match, it seemed the Russian was making more errors than the Canadian. At 1-1 the Moscow native had the first breakpoints of the set but the Istanbul finalist managed to save it with another great down the line winner.

Kalinskaya managed to earn another breakpoint when Bouchard would hit a forehand long and managed to get the break once again at 2-1 when the Canadian would double fault. The Montreal native would go back to work trying to get the break back to go back on serve and she earned two more break points at 15-40. 

The Russian would give the break back with another double fault to even the set at 2-2. Bouchard would follow up with a love service game and earn another breakpoint in the next service game when the Moscow native would save it with her own winner down the line. 

She would hold to make it 3-3 but once again holding serve seemed to be the issue as the Canadian would hit a forehand long to give the Russian another breakpoint at 30-40. Kalinskaya would come up with a big forehand to break once again to take a 4-3 lead.

Once again Bouchard would try to get the break back and she would break right back hitting some pretty impressive forehands to make it 4-4. She would manage to hold and at 5-4 the Canadian was looking to finish the match. 

Kalinskaya would double fault at a crucial point of the game to give Bouchard a match point and the Canadian would make no mistake winning the next point forcing an error from the Russian to take the match 6-4, and 6-4. 

She will next face Daria Gavrilova who beat Dayana Yastremska in the second round. After the match, Bouchard spoke about the difficulty of holding serve and going back and forth trading breaks.

" I felt like I pressed too much in the points but I was happy I was able to realize that and be aware and kinda get back to be a little more solid, ultimately that's what paid off in the end of both sets"

She also touched on her next opponent and her thoughts on the match. " I think I played her many years ago and I know her from juniors we are the same age so we grew up together, I'm just going to be expecting a really tough match, I know she fights a lot, I think she can play all around so I want to be ready for everything, just try to build on today and try to do a little better in the next match"

 

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